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Societal impact and policy influence

Societal impact and policy influence

Crossing boundaries in science: will this help public policy to address multi-dimensional problems?

Indonesian and Dutch Organizers

Dr. Rilus A. Kinseng, Bogor Agricultural University, Bogor, Indonesia

Dr. Arif Wibowo, Gadjah Mada University, Jogjakarta, Indonesia

Dr. ir. Sietze Vellema. Wageningen University, the Netherlands

Background topic Session

Policy is often faced with multi-dimensional problems affecting public interests, such as environmental sustainability, mobility, and economic viability of regions or small-scale enterprises and farms. This multi-dimensionality implies a scientific challenge: how to avoid one-dimensional strategies and to make integrative research relevant for policy? This session uses three examples of research programs crossing theoretical, disciplinary and spatial boundaries to explore how novel scientific approaches support policy-makers.

First, research on global certifying partnerships addressing sustainability challenges, including environmental degradation, abundant use of agrochemicals, poor working conditions, and widespread poverty, combines governance theory and agricultural and institutional economic theory and applies a variety of quantitative and qualitative sustainability assessment methods. How will an interdisciplinary approach inform policy enabling conditions for public-private partnerships?

Second, rapid urbanization and motorization put an enormous pressure on public infrastructure. Investment decisions for building and maintaining transport infrastructure in rapidly growing metropolitan areas respond both to the scale and speed of changes in mobility and to the nature of decision making. A multi-level analysis of these processes and interactions unravels how infrastructure as a public good is constructed. How will this multi-level perspective assist policy to foresee and respond to rapid changes?

Third, the availability of banana for food and other uses in rural households and local markets is affected by the velocity and scale of the spread of the Panama disease throughout Southeast Asia. Biological and agro-ecological diversity of banana production in Indonesia forms an entry point for discovering responses to this threat. Conservation and use of this diversity is coupled with individual and collective human actions. It seems that human capacity to manage plant diseases is contingent on how biological, ecological and social processes configure. How will integrating natural and social sciences enable policy to enhance resilience against fast spreading global plant diseases?

Preliminary list of presenters

Prof. Bustanul Arifin, Agribusiness University of Lampung, Indonesia and Prof. Pieter Glasbergen, Maastricht University, the Netherlands

Global certifying partnerships and environmental sustainability of commodity production

Prof. dr. Ari Kuncoro, Universitas Indonesia; Jakarta, Indonesia and Prof. Henri de Groot, VU University Amsterdam and Tinbergen Institute, the Netherlands

Fragmented government decision-power and spatial planning

Dr. Catur Hermanto, Assessment Institute for Agriculture Technology North Sumatera, Indonesia and Dr. ir. Sietze Vellema. Wageningen University, the Netherlands

Linking coordinated action and diversity in building resilience against global plant diseases